White House Press Secretary Jay Carney insisted to reporters on Air Force One today that President Obama has "demonstrated significant fiscal restraint” and applied a “balanced approach.”
According to the pool report, Carney added that any reporting to the contrary, would just be the result of “sloth and laziness.” Carney cited an article by financial columnist Rex Nutting of MarketWatch, which was also cited by David Axelrod this morning on Twitter.
As AEI's Jim Pethokoukis writes, Nutting arrives at these numbers by assigning 2009 government spending to George W. Bush.
Nutting arrives at that 1.4% number by assigning 2009—when spending surged nearly 20%—to George W. Bush: “The 2009 fiscal year, which Republicans count as part of Obama’s legacy, began four months before Obama moved into the White House. The major spending decisions in the 2009 fiscal year were made by George W. Bush and the previous Congress. Like a relief pitcher who comes into the game with the bases loaded, Obama came in with a budget in place that called for spending to increase by hundreds of billions of dollars in response to the worst economic and financial calamity in generations.”
Update: Carney's full quote via the transcript
"I simply make the point, as an editor might say, to check it out; do not buy into the BS that you hear about spending and fiscal constraint with regard to this administration. I think doing so is a sign of sloth and laziness."